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This Thread:
I hope we can get the banter going again, especially after the demise of another forum. I'm not sure a dedicated racing banter thread is such a good idea though, as if two or more topics are being discussed, a "reply" looks like it's a follow-on from the latest post. Would it be better to start a new thread for every topic?

TV Coverage: I see ITV are interested in bidding against Ch4 for coverage. People should be careful what they wish for. Ch4 coverage isn't bad, and much of the stick MF and GC take is unjustified. Maybe ITV would put it on ITV4 and keep it gambling oriented. ITV1 is so populist and full of reality shows.  By sports rights standards, the price is cheap. One thing that does annoy me on Ch4 is when (as the horses are loading) GC or Emma will ask Jim McGrath if he has had a bet, and what. Useless - I want to hear that 10 minutes earlier.

 

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This Thread:
I hope we can get the banter going again, especially after the demise of another forum. I'm not sure a dedicated racing banter thread is such a good idea though, as if two or more topics are being discussed, a "reply" looks like it's a follow-on from the latest post. Would it be better to start a new thread for every topic?

TV Coverage: I see ITV are interested in bidding against Ch4 for coverage. People should be careful what they wish for. Ch4 coverage isn't bad, and much of the stick MF and GC take is unjustified. Maybe ITV would put it on ITV4 and keep it gambling oriented. ITV1 is so populist and full of reality shows.  By sports rights standards, the price is cheap. One thing that does annoy me on Ch4 is when (as the horses are loading) GC or Emma will ask Jim McGrath if he has had a bet, and what. Useless - I want to hear that 10 minutes earlier.

 

I think the CH4 coverage is very good aside from them seemingly concentrating more on Gok Wan's fashion tips than the actual racing at meetings like Ascot. 

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I never watch Channel 4 now that I've got RUK and ATR

I don't even watch The Morning Line any more....

The only time I would ever flick over to Channel 4 would be if a really big race was coming up in a few minutes and RUK/ATR were messing around with a novice hurdle at Cartmel or Ballinrobe 3 minutes before the Derby was due off.......:loon

 

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Moved in here:ok

Channel 4 are ok but can be a bit dramatic at times.

I will switch from the racing channels over to C4 due to the better quality of picture and thats about it.

I wouldn't have thought that ITV could do any better than C4 to be honest, i preferred it on the Beeb as there was no adverts and no nonsense programming.

 

Edited by BillyHills
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Of course ITV have lost the Champions League so maybe they're casting round for some sport to show and they seem to gradually moving ITV4 into a Sports station, although limited by the fact that they don't have much sport to show. So I could see them being interested in lining up some racing for ITV4

As RUK keep telling us......they are owned by the tracks they cover so I wouldn't have thought there's any incentive for any of those tracks to let ITV cover meetings unless it's some kind of recorded highlights show in the evening

I'm not that fussed myself.......I usually just stick RUK on in the afternoon in the winter but I'm not really watching and in summer I'll watch cricket, cycling etc and just flick over for any race that I want to watch

the presenters mean nothing to me.........Vienna !

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Stopped watching Ch-4 Racing and the Morning line a while ago, just utter pish now, they provide nothing i would like to hear, i would love to see a few of their contracts, 1 or 2 just seemed to turn up randomly and do a few shows then disappear until another big meeting, must be great when you move in they posh equestrian circles.

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/press-packs/meet-the-channel-4-racing-team

 

Edited by Jimmy2shoes
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I tend to do it way BH does it: I switch over to C4 for better picture quality on big race days but generally prefer RUK to listen for analysis and presenting in general.  

In my opinion, the reports on slipping TV figures for C4 coverage always want to make us believe that it is down to the presenters and format of the show - as many of the people on the complaining sides of things bring forward as arguments too - but it is simply a fact that racing as a TV sport generally loses its relevance with so much other sport to compete against every weekend. The betting aspect loses appeal too, with easier betting targets for the general punter available in soccer for example. You don't need to study forms. You just put together your 4 fold acca and there you go. Takes you five minutes. 

I say: it doesn't make any difference to the viewing figures if  there are John Francome & Alistair Downs presenting, or if Emma, Graham and Nick are bubbling around. The general appeal of the sport is loosing it's foot in the public perception. Simple as that.

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personally I dont think racing is losing its zest ....its been around for years and is as good now as ever ... ..but the new punter with access to vast information has evolved and coverage hasnt .....instead of wonderin about "hats " have a resident statitician or two giving us different aspects of form .....they could easily have a Speed rating analysis .....make it more like a visual version of the racing post ....   even the mug punter understands info is king ......it makes the punter think and feel like hes learning and getting an angle .....I dont want to see pretty dresses and replays of a race from a month ago ........punters have evolved ....just look on this site ...it gives you a good snapshot of punters .     ....they arent stupid and want to given all the information to make an informed choice .....do you want to watch horses circling near start for five mins or given draw statistics for last five runnings .....do you want  to look at the pretty dress or hear a discussion that no six year old plus has ever won this race in its history !! .....   just seems no brainer to me ....and thats why people are getting bored

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I have a possibly irrational dislike of trainer interviews before or after races

They're just so cliche ridden I can't bear them and either turn over or turn the sound down (same goes for jockey interviews post-race)

Interesting you say that Trotter, me and a friend tend to take note of things trainers say before races and have had some success in backing horses where trainers give a clue to how they think their horses will run. I find ones like AOB you get absolutely nothing from as like you say, very clichéd and generic, however just last weekend Ger Lyons was interviewed before he saddled Queen Catrine at Naas and he was 'quietly confident' shall we say. As a result I backed it at 15/2, got backed into 4/1 and won fairly easily. 

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What worries me about asking trainers before races is that they might know about their own horse but they don't know about all the other runners !

I think it might be more the lazy presenter questions that annoy me.......the sort of 'what's the plan now'? question where every trainer just says 'oh, we'll get him home and have a look at and have a word with the owner'

I mean, what's the point !

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Interesting you say that Trotter, me and a friend tend to take note of things trainers say before races and have had some success in backing horses where trainers give a clue to how they think their horses will run. I find ones like AOB you get absolutely nothing from as like you say, very clichéd and generic, however just last weekend Ger Lyons was interviewed before he saddled Queen Catrine at Naas and he was 'quietly confident' shall we say. As a result I backed it at 15/2, got backed into 4/1 and won fairly easily. 

actually ..I have noticed that the last trainer they interview just before the race off tends yo do really well in the race ....dont know if its coincidence or whether they know where moneys going and interview that specific trainer ...but ive lost count of times that last trainer has gone on to win or place in following big race .    very unusual but it happens a lot 

Edited by richard-westwood
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Fair points you make Richard, absolutely, and I agree with you in most what you say, without a doubt - but  in my mind you're talking about dedicated horse racing punters, not your general Saturday afternoon punter. I don't believe those are interested in speed ratings or any deep analysis at all. I'm pretty sure that would bore them to death as much as watching fashion and hats does. What they want is a simple bet, simple action, something they know about and can talk about. Is that Horse racing? No, probably not... not any more. 

You and me, who love the sport, who are dedicated followers, we want to see that kind of deep analysis, new methods of looking at races - from our point of view as fans racing hasn't lost its appeal. For me personally it hasn't - otherwise I wouldn't be here in this forum. But you and me, we're are racing fans.

So the question is: is it the same for the casual viewer? The Saturday afternoon punter? The one who sympathises with the sport, but wouldn't die if it would be banned tomorrow? No, it isn't. And that is the crux. C4's coverage is intended to appeal to the casual Saturday afternoon punter. Not to you and me as racing die-hards. If we like it or not - this casual viewer makes the core audience for a TV channel like C4. They make money with advertising to a large proportion, so what they need are eyeballs.  

Now, this audience though, in our modern, digitalised world, is so much more difficult to engage and to reach. Hundreds of TV channels on the box; multiple screens......, there are oh so many different things screaming for attention! 

At the same time racing is competing against other sports - sport that wants your attention (and money) as well. The Premier League in particular of course. Switch on the TV on a Saturday afternoon: there is Premier League football, Italian, French, Spanish football, Rugby.... you name it. And then here is horse racing - competing with all these options, trying to get a chunk of your attention. And then there is C4, trying to attract a viewing audience, broadcasting a sport which has to compete that hard to stand out.

And the Saturday afternoon punter? Wants to brag about his 10fold acca on Monday morning in the office canteen. Not about losers on the nags. "How could Rooney miss that one?" Anyone can relate to it because most have seen it. In contrast, if you're lucky, one will slate Jamie Spencer for an overconfident ride on the odds-on favourite in the 4.45 at Newmarket. And this has nothing to do with Gok Wang (or whatever his name) talking about fashion before the Epsom Derby, or because Graham Cunningham comes up with another crude theory why this or that horse is the "real deal". 

And the "modern punter"? Has nothing to with C4's coverage. The modern punter is sitting in front of his laptop, setting up a bot to trade on some Tennis match in the Arabic desert. That says, more data available, like sectional times - would it stop the trend? To an extend maybe, it may well attract some new punters having an interest in the sport. Those who are more analytical perhaps. But we are talking about a minority nonetheless, not millions of punters. And secondly: that this sort of data isn't widely available (like for example compare what details the general punter can get in Hong Kong) is hardly C4's fault. But again, it has a very limited impact on viewing figures. That's is my belief, at least. 

It has to be said I'm talking about appeal the sport makes on TV, not in general as a whole. That's two pair of shoos. 

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I asked my daughters 14 and 16 ...wat would you like to see .....and both said tjeyd like to "see" the horse ...lol.....they both like to look at the general condition of the horse and how its behaving etc ......you dont get much of that on telly anymore ....quick look in parade ring from 200 ft up .....and it does make a diff ...so fair point ...lol...and with hd ...you could get much better "close" coverage .....I agree ..a "pov " from the ring rail would be quite cool ....

Edited by richard-westwood
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The growth of the betting history has affected racing. It's easy to have an opinion on a football match but much harder to pick the winner of the big Saturday handicap for example as robertob alluded to before. No longer does your average punter have to go and follow pricewise to have a bet but just assemble a quick football or rugby acca.

That's not entirely C4's fault but their coverage is awful. There are a few trainers like John Gosden who make interesting points but no one really wants to hear the usual repetitive rubbish from jockeys and trainers every week. No one wants to hear the panel go on about how tough the handicap is and who their selection would be if they had a bet while Tanya reports the each-way money for a horse clipped into 7s from 8s despite drifting on the exchanges. Not only is it extremely repetitive for the people interested in the racing but any casual punter who wants to have a bet is probably going to be pushed over to Saturday football.

Cramming all the good racing into Saturdays is hardly the way to go as the sport is never going to overshadow the Premier League. The BHA should be looking at putting some of the big Saturday flat meetings later in the day to avoid the main football action and some decent racing during the week and on Sundays too. The Irish Champion works well on Saturday evening and the 1000 Guineas works on a Sunday so there's no reason why the schedule should be so focused on Saturday afternoons. Isn't the evening meeting at Sandown early in the flat season extremely popular as well?

Interestingly the big festivals at Aintree, Cheltenham, Punchestown and the Christmas Festival at Leopardstown seem more popular than ever so it's not as if racing is completely on the decline despite dropping viewing figures. Is jumps on the up despite issues in the lower ranks?

Another thing is these ridiculous bookie restrictions. It's understandable that bookmakers are businesses and need to make a profit but not being able to get a tenner on an evens shot is quite frankly a disgrace. I logged onto my Boyles account a couple of weeks back to place a bet on the RWC but couldn't get 10 euro on Uruguay to beat the handicap against Fiji. A multi million euro company couldn't lay a small stakes punter like me 10 quid at evens. I later got an email saying I was restricted despite placing just twenty one 10 euro bets with them. If people are getting restricted that easily how can people maintain interest in betting which is crucial to the success of horse racing?

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